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Juliana Okori; African fabric designer

By the Indepenent Team

Juliana Okori’s passion for art dates way back to when she was still a little girl who used to make simple dresses for her dolls. But the passion later drew towards painting during high school.

“Painting was a therapy and break from the stress of over 20 subjects in secondary school,” says Okori. “At the university, she studied Industrial Art and Design hoping to specialize in painting although her uncle advised her against it citing difficulty to break through with it.  The other option was fashion, which she hesitantly took on until it turned out to be interesting. Okori though points out that at university they were not taught a lot in the field of fashion as most of the emphasis is placed on drawing. Spending her internship at her  lecturer’s garments facility helped her master the basics.  With the passion and zeal to storm the fashion industry, Okori borrowed a sewing machine on which she made dresses for colleagues and relatives. All this while, she was working from home until she raised Shs 2.5 million from savings and a small loan to open her Kori House of Couture Deign (KHCD) in Kampala’s upscale suburb of Ntinda. Her total assets have since grown to over Shs 15 million.

Success tip; Financial discipline

Okori’s winning tip is keep practicing, being passionate and being keen on business finances. “I wouldn’t call it capital or space but passion. There is no way you can fail on something you are so passionate about,” she says.  “You make all the decisions and in case of any mistakes, they automatically fall back on you. You must also account for every coin in the business much as it’s your own business.”

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